Rich Rodriguez craves a better atmosphere at Michigan Stadium
The quietest 110,000 fans in sports might get a little rowdy this fall.
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said he’s talked with the university’s marketing department about things they can do to create a better gameday atmosphere at Michigan Stadium.
Despite drawing some of college football’s biggest crowds for years - the Wolverines led the nation in attendance for the 10th straight season last year - Michigan is considered one of the more stale environments in the Big Ten.
“I think nowadays when people are coming to games they want entertainment,” Rodriguez said. “Obviously playing good football’s the best form of entertainment, but what else are you doing to get the crowd into the game and have it be a part of the game as opposed to just being there?”
Rodriguez said fans won’t see many noticeable changes this year.
“It’s a process,” he said. “It’s not going to happen overnight.”
But in the works are things like making “the band and the students and some music” more a part of the gameday experience.
“There’s some venues we’ve been to and some venues I’ve been to in the past that get everybody fired up,” Rodriguez said. “They just can’t wait to come. And we have that some. When we’re playing well, and I know in the Big House there’s been some great moments, but there’s more that we can do to make the experience even better for everybody. So that’s what we’re talking about.”
One change not on the docket is more night games.
Rodriguez said he’s asked about that possibility, but security is an issue because some of the parking lots around Michigan Stadium (including the golf course) don’t have lights.
“I think ESPN would love us to do that,” Rodriguez said. “I think some of our fans would like it, not a lot of them. But I think some would like it. I think we’d entertain it more if we had - lights in the stadium is not an issue, but lights in the parking lots.
“I think there’s a lot of issues regarding security that have more concerns as much as anything else.”